What to Expect at Your CT Scan
A CT scan is a non-invasive, painless procedure that does not require any recovery time. The total time of a CT scan can vary from appointment to appointment. For some CT scans, a special dye called contrast material is needed to help highlight the specific area(s) of your body being examined. The iodine-based contrast makes the blood vessels and certain structures or organs in the body more visible on the scan’s images. If needed, the contrast will either be injected into a vein or you will be given a liquid to drink prior to the exam.
During the exam, you will lie on a table surrounded by a donut-shaped framework. This houses the X-ray tube that generates the beams. During the CT scan, you will be asked to lie very still and hold your breath for a few seconds. When the exam starts, the table will move to a starting position, pause and then move to the final scanning position.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
At your imaging appointment, you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown to prevent any clothing obstructions to the X-ray images. Depending on the type of exam and what the CT scan is diagnosing, you might have to refrain from eating 4 hours prior to your appointment. If this is the case, our team will let you know when you schedule your scan so you can properly prepare. All patients should drink plenty of water prior to their CT scan.